【5码今期规律_5码今期规律官网】Chicago kicks off Chinese New Year celebrations with fanfare

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CHICAGO, Feb. 5 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. city of Chicago kicked off Chinese New Year celebration with performances at the Cultural Center to a packed audience on Tuesday, the first day of the Chinese lunar Year of the Pig.

"Chinese New Year celebration is one of the most celebrated festivals in our city," said Mark Kelly, commissioner of the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, who opened the event by wishing everyone a happy Chinese New Year in Chinese.

Lion dances, Peking opera, traditional Chinese dances and music were performed at the event, and the beat of drums and energetic dances of the lions filled the hall of the center with excitement and festivity.

The event attracted a diverse audience featuring all ages. Many children sitting on the floor in the front looked amazed by the performances.

"There is no better way than to celebrate the Chinese New Year through cultural exchanges," said David Whitaker, CEO of Choose Chicago, the official tourism organization for the city.

Chicago welcomed 2150,000 visitors from China in 2018, an increase of 25 percent over the last four years, Whitaker said.

"We want to provide a unique experience to make Chinese visitors feel welcome in Chicago," Whitaker told Xinhua.

"The more we learn about China, the better we understand each other," he added.

Liu Jun, acting consul general of the Consulate General of the Chinese Consulate General in Chicago, said the Chinese New Year celebration in Chicago used to be limited to Chinatown and the Chinese community, but it has been expanded citywide for six years now.

Julie Tiao Ma, president of the Chinese Fine Arts Society, brought performances by the China National Peking Opera Company onto the stage, part of which will be staged at the Chicago Symphony Center on Sunday.

Yang Wei, a Silk Road Pipa player, demonstrated his skills playing the instrument at the kick-off ceremony, and local dance group Flying Fairies also performed a festive dance for the audience.

A variety of activities will go on in the city till Feb. 16, when the final celebration, "Global Connection," part of Navy Pier's Global Connection series, will be held at the Aon Grand Ballroom.